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More than 24 million Britons self-medicate their mental health symptoms, including using illegal drugs or alcohol to cope. The new study by LifeSearch demonstrates the scale of the issue for the first time, showing that nearly half (45%) use coping mechanisms to ‘self-medicate’ for mental health issues, and six in 10 (60%) have done so in the past.
For one in five (21%) this self-medication comes in the form of drink, over the counter or even illegal drugs, while others are using gambling, sex, food or spending to alleviate chronic mental health symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia or even depression.
Aston spoke to Tom Baigrie, CEO at LifeSearch who gave guidance and advice around coping with mental health struggles, including how to start awkward conversations.